Constitution??? **** the Constitution!!! We are going to do whatever we feel like!!! Sadly that's how our royal government rulers routinely behave. And sadly as Robert Robb points out they get away with it.
"Arizona's debt limit, set in the Constitution,
is still what it was at statehood: $350,000.
The courts, however, have approved a variety
of evasions of the debt limit, rendering it
Riggs proposes honest debt
Robert Robb, columnist | azcentral.com 6:23 p.m. MST July 29, 2014
Dark horse gubernatorial candidate Frank Riggs has floated a fiscal idea worth noting: Increase the state's debt limit and use general obligation bonding to pay for the state's capital needs.
Arizona's debt limit, set in the Constitution, is still what it was at statehood: $350,000. The courts, however, have approved a variety of evasions of the debt limit, rendering it meaningless. State government today is carrying $8.6 billion in debt.
The evasions are less transparent and require higher interest costs than if the state were issuing general obligation bonds. So, Riggs' proposal makes sense.
It's probably politically toxic, however. It certainly was for Terry Goddard's father, Sam, when he was governor in the 1960s. He made a similar proposal, voters overwhelmingly rejected it, and then turned Sam out of office the next election.
If Evan Mecham had been recalled rather than impeached, former House Minority Leader John Rhodes was gearing up to run for governor. Rhodes planned on making increasing the debt limit and using general obligation bonding for the state's capital needs part of his platform.
Rhodes might have had the political moxie to put that on the policy agenda. Riggs probably not.
Reach Robb at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @RJRobb.